PPP's newest poll on the Massachusetts Senate race finds it dead even, with Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown both at 46%. Warren's now been at that exact same 46% mark in three PPP polls in a row dating back to last September. Brown's increased his support from levels of 41% and 44% on those previous two polls.
Brown's numbers have experienced a bit of a resurgence in the last few months. His approval rating is back over 50%, with 51% of voters approving of him to 38% who disapprove. He had been at 45/42 and 44/45 on PPP's last two polls. Brown's approval with independents who have an opinion about him is now better than 2:1 at 60/29. And he's reclaiming some of his crossover support from Democrats with 30% approving of him, up from 23% in March.
Brown is conveying the sort of centrist, independent image he'll need in order to win this fall. Only 34% of voters think he's too conservative to 48% who say he's ideologically 'about right.' And 49% say he's been an 'independent voice for Massachusetts' to 39% who say he's been more a 'partisan voice for the national Republican Party.'
Warren's popular too with 47% of voters rating her favorably to 38% with a negative opinion. Political races where voters like both candidates have been few and far between in recent election cycles. Warren was at 46/33 in March so her negatives have climbed a little bit since then, but it could be a lot worse given the press coverage she's received since that time.
This race is ultimately going to be decided by Obama independents. The undecideds for Senate are planning to vote for Obama over Mitt Romney by a 60/13 margin. 62% of them are independents to 31% who are Democrats and just 7% who are Republicans. On paper it seems like Warren has a lot more room to grow. But those who haven't made up their minds yet like both candidates. Brown has a 43/19 approval rating with them and Warren's favorability is 40/15. Unlike in the Presidential race where swing voters are trying to decide who they think is the lesser of two evils, in this contest voters are trying to choose between two candidates who they see pretty favorably. There are already a lot of Obama/Brown voters and it's quite possible there will be more of them.
The Massachusetts Senate contest has been tight ever since Elizabeth Warren announced she was getting into the field, and there's not much reason to think that's going to change any time soon.
Full results here